Just when Manchester City thought they’d done the hard work, Papiss Cisse delivered a reminder that a trip to Newcastle is going to be anything but easy with two stupendous strikes at Chelsea in midweek.
City know that, barring a miracle, wins against Newcastle and QPR will give them a first English title in 44 years. But miraculous is a fair description of what Cisse produced at Stamford Bridge.
Another display like that and Alan Pardew’s men will still be dreaming of a top-four finish on the last day of the season. You can back Newcastle at 15/4 (4.75) with William Hill.
But City should still be confident. They have won their last four and, after throwing away the lead in the title race once, they’ll be even more determined not to do so again. City are 4/6 (1.67) with William Hill.
The draw is available at 3/1 (4.0).
That would do neither side much good in this game, as a result, expect a rigorous contest should the scores be level in the latter stages.
And with prolific attackers on the pitch, that could make for fireworks. Both Man City and Newcastle have scored in 30 of their last 35 Premier League games.
It’s difficult to see either team being denied here and the pick of the bets is to back both teams to score at 4/6 (1.67).
The Senegal international striker has scored 13 goals in 12 games for Newcastle, including a ludicrous 11 in his last eight.
People may be thinking Manchester City are tougher opponents but it’s impossible to imagine how high Cisse’s confidence must be right now as he returns to his adoring fans after another wonder goal.
He’s opened the scoring in six of his 11 starts but he’s available at 13/2 (7.5) to net first here. That’s the value bet of the day and is well worth a smaller investment.